What’s in the news?
- Last year, the Union Cabinet approved the New Education Policy 2020. The policy aims to pave way for transformational reforms in school and higher education systems in the country. This policy replaces the 34 year old National Policy on Education, 1986.
Highlights of NEP
5+3+3+4 curricular structure
- The New Education Policy expands age group 6-14 years of mandatory schooling to 3-18 years of schooling. The NEP introduced hitherto uncovered three years of pre-schooling, age group of 3-6 years under the school curriculum.
- With an emphasis on Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), the 10+2 structure of school curriculum is to be replaced by a 5+3+3+4 curricular structure corresponding to ages 3-8, 8-11, 11-14, and 14-18 years respectively.
- The new policy aims for universalisation of education from pre-school to secondary level with 100 per cent Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in school education by 2030 and aims to raise GER in higher education to 50 per cent by 2025.
- NEP 2020 has set the target to increase the public investment in the education sector to reach 6 per cent of GDP by the Centre and State.
Universal foundational literacy and numeracy
- NEP 2020 calls for the setting up of a National Mission on Foundational Literacy and Numeracy by the Education Ministry. States will prepare an implementation plan for attaining universal foundational literacy and numeracy in all primary schools for all learners by grade 3 by 2025.
- A new National Assessment Centre, PARAKH (Performance Assessment, Review, and Analysis of Knowledge for Holistic Development), will be set up as a standard-setting body.
- NEP emphasises on setting up of Gender Inclusion Fund and also Special Education Zones for disadvantaged regions and groups.
- Every state/district will be encouraged to establish ”Bal Bhavans” as a special daytime boarding school, to participate in art-related, career-related, and play-related activities. Free school infrastructure can be used as Samajik Chetna Kendras.
Medium of instruction
- The policy states, the medium of instruction until at least class 5 (and preferably till class 8) should be “home language or mother tongue or local/regional language”. Thereafter, the home or local language should continue to be taught as a language.
- The policy gives the freedom to the state, region, and child to choose three languages to be learned. However, at least two of the three languages should be native Indian languages.
- High performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries, and similarly, selected universities, those from among the top 100 universities in the world will be facilitated to operate in India.
- An autonomous body, the National Educational Technology Forum (NETF) will be created to promote digital learning. It will provide a platform for the free exchange of ideas on the use of technology to enhance learning, assessment, planning, administration and so on, both for school and higher education.
- Vocational education will start in schools from the 6th grade.
Why in News?
- Describing the New Education Policy as a major milestone in the making of a self-reliant nation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore developed systems at Visva-Bharati which were the medium of modernising Indian education and freeing it from the shackles of slavery.
- Mr. Modi, who was virtually addressing the convocation at Visva-Bharati University, said the new education policy promoted entrepreneurship and self employment, research and innovation.